Jeff Stevens, John Morton, Jr (1650-1718),
About 2020 Honorary Mayor Candidate Jeff Stevens
Candidates much choose an “Honorary Deputy Mayor” running-mate, a deceased person from Middleborough’s past, and campaign with this person. Jeff chose John Morton (1650-1718), and submitted this biography:
John Morton established the first public school in Plymouth. It is believed to be the first free public school in the “new world”. His father was part of 26 Mans’ Purchase and was given land in Middleborough where he raised his family. John is my 6th great grand uncle.
Thomas Weston, in his book "History of the town of Middleboro, Massachusetts", in the chapter "Early Settlers before King Philip's War", wrote: "John Morton, Jr., the oldest son of his father, was born at Plymouth, December 21, 1650, and with his father probably moved to Middleboro not far from the year 1670. He was remarkably well educated for a man of the period, and it is said kept the first public school in America at Plymouth, in 1671, for the education of "children and youth". He lived with his father in the house near the river which was probably burned during the Indian War, and was in the fort, one of the Commandant's Council. There is a tradition that he saw the Indians coming one evening, and fearing to remain in the house, he took a pail as if to get some water, but passed the well and did not stop until he found shelter in the fort.
Soon after the settlers returned to Middleboro he built the southeastern part of what was known as the old Morton house, additions to which were made at different times by his des-cendants until it assumed the size which was well remembered by many of the people of the town.
At the time of his removal from Plymouth he was a member of the church there, and never removed his membership, although in full sympathy with the church in Middleboro. He died in Middleboro in 1717".
John was buried at the Cemetery at The Green on Plympton Street (Route 105). His gravestone was cut by the first Middleborough carver, name unknown.
Candidates must also choose a “Supported Cause or Organization”, an entity which improves Middleborough’s future, and campaign with this entity as well. Jeff chose to promote the "Middleboro Y.M.C.A”, & he explains why:
The “Y” is my supported cause. “It's a place to come to meet friends and get healthy.” The pool has courses for adults and children. Whether you want to learn to swim or get in shape...this is a friendly place to meet.
There are gymnastics classes for the kids. Pick up and organized Basketball, “spinning” for bicyclists. One can sit on various types of bicycling machines, walk on treadmills, use a stair climbing machine, and other fitness machinery. There's Tai Chi, too.
Monday through Friday they are open from 5 am to 9 pm. And weekends 7am to 5pm. Most days there are exercise classes at several times of the day. And there is so much more. The people at the front desk are friendly and will set you up with a trainer if that's what you need.
Come into the “Y” to see.